Many people have different conceptions about what is required to create a will. Mistakes made in the will creation or signing process can prove problematic for your loved ones so it’s important to educate yourself first and to schedule a consultation with a trusted estate planning lawyer.
Although you do not need an attorney to create a New Jersey will, you might want to speak with an attorney if you are concerned about taking specific steps like disinheriting someone or you are worried about family members contesting your will. The basic requirements for signing a will in New Jersey include:
- This document must be signed in front of two witnesses and,
- Per New Jersey statutes 3(b):3-2, the witnesses must sign the will within a reasonable time after the testator has created or acknowledged it.
You are not required to notarize your will to make it legal. New Jersey does, however, allow you to make your will self-proving and you will need to obtain a notary in the event that you wish to do that.
If you want your will to be a self-proving will, since it might speed up probate and the court is eligible to accept the will without contacting the signature witnesses, you and your witnesses will need to go to a notary and sign an affidavit that states who each of you are and that you all knew that you were signing a will.